Jerry Sloan was one of the longest tenured coaches in NBA and professional sports history.
He coached the Utah Jazz for more than 22 seasons, from 1988 to 2011, and was there during the majority of the John Stockton and Karl Malone era. He was at the helm when the Jazz made two consecutive NBA Finals in 1997 and 1998.
His tenure ended unceremoniously and in a somewhat bizarre manner as he resigned during his 23rd season on February 9, 2011.
It was always rumored and became pretty apparent the decision was related to a strained relationship with his star point guard at the time, Deron Williams, who was dealt within a few weeks of Sloan’s resignation to the Nets before the 2011 trade deadline.
Raja Bell was a member of the Jazz during the 2010-11 season and during the infamous incident before Sloan’s resignation and gave his recounting of what happened to Jazz Fanatical and Jared Fawson…
(Click on the image in the tweet to read Bell’s story)
— moni (@monilogue) April 7, 2018
Pretty crazy and legendary stuff. From Bell’s description it seems like Sloan was a bit of a control freak and overreacted to William’s slight adjustment, but Williams obviously didn’t handle the situation well either and added to the explosiveness and drama.
The best part of the whole story is easily the fact that Sloan said “One, two, three… good luck” instead of “One, two, three… Jazz” and left everyone in the room confused as he not so subtly hinted he was going to resign.
This is probably one of the more interesting stories of the past decade and Bell’s anecdote behind the scenes is awesome.